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Current Governors
Previous Governors (Past 12 Months)

Ashley Wyatt

Chair of Governors / Local Authority Governor

I have lived in Leeds for the last 30 years, in Roundhay. Both of my children attended Leeds primary and high schools. I have worked in children's social services and children's mental health services during that time, mainly in service development.

I love going to remote places, and a few years ago my wife and I went to live for a while in a village in Malawi. I am a keen walker and also enjoy cycling.

I became Chair of Governors in April 2107. Now that I am retired I have the time required to be more involved in the life of the school.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: March 2018

Matthew Pattison

Vice Chair / Co-Opted Governor

I'm a local boy, born and bred in Whitkirk. I also attended Whitkirk primary school when it was Halton middle school. I moved back into the area in 2004 when my wife and I decided to try for children, and we now have three attending Whitkirk Primary.

I'm keen to get involved in the local community, and becoming a governor was an excellent way to make a difference and focus on something that will have a deep and lasting affect on my children.

I'm a solution architect for a software development house in Harrogate, and I enjoy DIY, keeping fit and socialising with my friends. I'm a sociable guy, so if you see me around school, please come over and say hello!

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? Yes Templegate Tiny Tots Pre-School
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: January 2019

Martin Allerton

Parent Governor

I have lived in the local area all my life, and have 2 children who both attend Whitkirk Primary School in years 1 and 6. I am new to the role of being a parent Governor but pick things up quickly, and am looking to help both my local community and the school that my children attend.

I work as a senior software developer and systems architect for a software development company in the city centre, and will be looking to bring some of my data analysis skills to the role if I can.

I've always enjoyed learning myself, and find helping my children to learn new things very rewarding. My aim to help the school in any way I can to improve learning for all students.

When I'm not working I enjoy making things using a breadth of practical skills including woodworking, electonics, papercraft and 3d printing.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: October 2020

Jenny Purdon

Parent Governor

I am mum of twins in Year 2. I have lived in Whitkirk for 13 years since blowing in from Ireland. I am a foster carer and volunteer in the community. I have joined the governing board because I strongly believe that we as parents have a duty to be actively involved with school. I want to ensure that our kids are getting the best from their time in primary school.

I have been keen to learn how school operates having no prior experience of the english education system. I have been an active part of the PTA too and hope to continue to be involved. I plan to do as much as I can to increase parent involvement in school. I am always approachable and I’ll be the one rushing through the gates at the last minute in the morning! So please feel free to say hi or ask questions and if I can’t answer I’ll find out for you. See you in the playground.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: October 2020

Claire Williamson

Co-Opted Governor

Originally from Cheshire, I relocated to Leeds to attend University. I loved it so much I stayed. I have been living in Halton for 13 years now. I have two wonderful children (years 2 and 4) who attend Whitkirk Primary School, so I have a vested interest in being involved in the strategic matters that arise within the school. I am looking forward to working within the team to secure the best outcomes possible for the pupils and staff at Whitkirk.

My interests have always been within the creative sector. I have a degree in Dance and worked within the industry for several years, until I found my calling in the teaching industry. After completing my PGCE in Secondary education, I taught for 10 years in a Secondary and Sixth Form School in Leeds, that was very arts-based, confounding my interest in creativity within education. A job which gave me great satisfaction. My interest in education led me to complete my Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning, whilst continuing to teach. It was during this that I decided to move into Primary Schools, which is where I work now, as a KS2 teacher. I am looking forward to focusing on a school from a different, more strategic perspective.

Outside of work I have a keen interest in the Theatre Arts, keeping in touch with my performance background. I am a member of Whitkirk Arts Guild, performing in at least 2 shows per year. I love all kinds of sport and I also enjoy spending time doing activities with my children.


Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: October 2021

Joanne Somerton

Co-Opted Governor

I am a local girl having grown up in Swillington and have lived in Whitkirk for the last 10 years. I have two daughters who both attend Whitkirk Primary School in years 1 and 3. I am keen to learn how the school operates and am looking forward to working as part of the wider team looking to make a difference for all the children who attend the school.

I have a background in science and engineering, working as a Flood Risk Consultant for an environmental consultancy firm in Leeds. My role day to day includes data analysis, production of technical reports and project management. I have extensive experience in public and stakeholder consultation and hope to use these skills in my new role as a parent governor.

I have recently become a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador looking at promoting these subjects within schools across Leeds and Bradford and hope skills learnt from this role will benefit the school.

Outside of work/ school I enjoy getting out and about exploring, am an avid reader of anything and everything and love baking.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes

Joe Mitchell

Headteacher

I joined Whitkirk, as Headteacher, in April 2017. Prior to this I taught in schools in the Leeds and Wakefield Local Authorities. I have been a school governor in a number of schools, as a staff governor, co-opted governor and even a Chair of Governors for a period of time. The role of school governors is key to securing continued school improvement and we have a dedicated and talented team of governors here at Whitkirk Primary school.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? No

Rachel Stanhope

Deputy Headteacher / Associate Governor

I joined Whitkirk in September 2012. Prior to this I taught in two schools in London and a school in Hertfordshire. Originally from Leeds, it has been wonderful to return home and I am really proud to be part of the Whitkirk team. The children in our school are fantastic and as a Governing Body we are committed to ensuring that all of our pupils achieve and develop a love of learning.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? No

Natalie Tomlinson

Staff Governor

I have recently graduated with a degree in Primary Education from York St John University. I began my teaching career at Whitkirk Primary School in Year 2 where I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the staff and children and being part of such a dedicated team! The children and staff at Whitkirk work incredibly hard and are always looking for ways to develop further. This will be my first governor position and I am excited to be part of the team with a focus on securing the best possible outcomes for all the staff and children at Whitkirk!

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: September 2022

Jonny Ross (Stepped Down: 22/09/2017)

Foundation Governor

Previously a governor at a faith school I joined this Board of Governors in 2011.

Born in Liverpool, I am a father of 4, a qualified optician, and now have my own digital marketing agency. I am involved in many charities and am a member of the Institute of Directors. I am heavily immersed with the school communication strategy, and see myself as a critical friend to the school.

My vision for the school is to create a strong sense of community, developing confident children and ensuring good creativity and critical reasoning ability.

My aims for the governing body are to take the current strengths we have to form an even stronger more cohesive team that has a very clear shared vision with our school, understands data, and ensures that we have the interest of the pupils at the centre of our actions.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: September 2017

David Connor (Stepped Down: 15/03/2018)

Parent Governor

I have lived in Leeds for most of my life and , for the last 20 years, in Whitkirk. I have 4 children who, despite the best efforts of my wife and I, all currently live at home.

I have been a parent governor at the school for the last 6 years- I currently Chair the Resources committee- and have been proud to see it develop through the current leadership to become a great school. I am committed to ensuring that this progress is maintained and we are recognised as being outstanding.

I run my own consultancy business , specialising in HR and Change Management. Away from this my main interests are running and football. You may see me running through Temple Newsam or attending the boot camp there.Ill be the middle aged bald guy looking not at all well.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes

Paul Barclay (Stepped Down: 30/08/2017)

Parent Governor

I have a son that attends Whitkirk school I am the newest of the school governors having started the role at the beginning of this year (2015). Governance is very much a new experience for me but I have an appetite to learn and hopefully help the school with some of my life experiences which I bring to the role I intend to support Mr Clark and his staff as best as I can.

I currently sit on the Teaching and Learning committee which I find very interesting and challenging, my aim is to help get the best for the pupils of Whitkirk.

In my spare time I enjoy sport and assist with the coaching of a local junior football team.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: December 2018

Sarah Hart (Stepped Down: 06/03/2018)

Co-Opted Governor

Hello, my name is Sarah Hart. I have been a Staff Governor and part of the Pupil Support Sub Committee since 2012. I have had many years of involvement with Whitkirk Primary School. I was a former pupil, parent and I am presently a Higher Level Teaching Assistant working as part of the Inclusion Team in school. I have really enjoyed being a governor so far and I am looking forward to working as part of the wider school team to ensure that all the children at Whitkirk achieve their full potential and enjoy their learning experience.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: January 2019

Adrian Douglas (Stepped Down: 15/03/2018)

Co-Opted Governor

I have lived in East Leeds approaching 20 years now. Both my children have attended Whitkirk Primary school, with my youngest about to start her final year.

As a qualified Chartered Accountant, I have spent the last 15 years working for a variety of businesses. My job has been primarily involved helping management teams to understand and improve their current financial performance and to make financial plans and strategies for the future.

Now running my own business, I have the flexibility to start contributing back to my local community. I am passionate about helping people make the best of themselves, and have previously volunteered at Adult numeracy classes.

I am excited about the opportunity to bring both my vocational skills and my experience as a parent of children taught at the school, to the Whitkirk Board of Governors.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? Yes
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: September 2020

Joanne Marshall (Stepped Down: 23/03/2018)

Staff Governor

I have been a teacher a Whitkirk Primary school for three years and during this time I have taught in Year 2. I am currently the coordinator for RE and SMSC throughout school, a role I took on at the beginning of this school year which I am enjoying getting my teeth into! Whitkirk has a lively and friendly environment with a fantastic set of children and I really enjoy working here. I am excited about joining the governing body and being even more involved in the continuing development of the school.

Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? No
Able to vote? Yes
End of Term: July 2019

Steve Walker (Stepped Down: 08/05/2018)

Associate Governor

I have lived in Leeds 15 all of my life and attended Whitkirk Primary when it was previously known as Halton Middle School. We have 3 boys, 2 of which are at Whitkirk, our youngest will start this September.

I have been a Parent Governor at Whitkirk for approximately 3 years and am also on the Resources Committee, where I can apply my variety of skills as a Project Manager in the Construction Industry to good effect. I joined the Governing Body to be an integral part of a team, to appreciate and understand how a School operates and to be influential in providing the best learning opportunities for all children that attend Whitkirk Primary.


Business interest in the school? No
Governor at another school? No
Related to any member of school staff? Yes Member of staff at TinyTots
Able to vote? No